Papua New Guinea is a fascinating country where travelers can experience remote fishing villages, spectacular diving and surfing spots, remarkable wildlife and diverse cultures. The enormous ethnic diversity of a country with more than 700 languages and 600 islands cannot be summed up in a few words, but it is the most interesting aspect for many tourists. In addition, many adventurous activities await the visitor. In the jungle there are crashed planes from the Second World War, in villages and towns you can discover the sacred wooden houses haus tambarans (spirit houses). See other countries in Oceania on commit4fitness.
Arriving by plane
Papua New Guinea’s national airline is Air Niugini (PX). There are no direct flights from Europe. Air Niugini (PX) offers direct flights to Papua New Guinea from Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney, Singapore, Manila, Melbourne and Hong Kong, among others. Non-stop flights from Frankfurt/M. and Zurich to Singapore is operated by Singapore Airlines (SQ). Lufthansa (LH) fly non-stop to Hong Kong from Frankfurt/M. and Swiss (LX) from Zurich.
Frankfurt/M. – Port Moresby: from 22 hrs 50 mins (1 or more stops); Zurich – Port Moresby: from 25 hours (1 or more stops); Vienna – Port Moresby: from 23 hours 55 minutes (2 or more stops).
Approx. €7.70 (30 PGK); payable at the airport on departure to international destinations. Children under the age of 2 and passengers in transit who do not leave the airport are exempt from this.
Arrival by car
Tolls: There are no toll roads in Papua New Guinea. Documents: The national driving license is sufficient.
Arrival by ship
International ports are Lae, Madang, Port Moresby, Alotau, Wewak (Sepik), Rabaul (New Britain), Kieta (Northern Solomon Islands) and Momote (Manus).
Cruise operators such as MSC, Phoenix, Costa and Transocean also call at Papua New Guinea on their world cruises departing from Europe. Cruise ships from Japan, the USA, Australia, New Zealand and China also have Papua New Guinea in their program.
Traveling by plane
Air Niugini (PX) and PNG Air (CG) offer connections to numerous cities and islands in the country. Airplanes can also be chartered.
Traveling by car/bus
The road network has a length of approx. 9,000 km. The Highlands Highway connects Lae with Madang on the north coast and with the larger towns in the Highlands. From Port Moresby, roads run in both directions along the coast. Tolls: Papua New Guinea has no toll roads. Gas stations: Gas stations can be found in the cities; inland you should take advantage of any opportunities to refuel or carry filled spare canisters with you.
Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic
Condition of the roads
The main roads are relatively well developed. Roads are acceptable in the provinces of East New Britain and Rabaul; partly paved on New Ireland. Most of the other roads are difficult to drive on. The gravel roads in the interior of the country can at best be driven on with all-wheel drive vehicles, especially in the rainy season.
Rental cars are available at airports and in major cities. The minimum age for drivers is 25 years.
Taxis are available in regional capitals. However, it is strongly recommended to refrain from using both taxis and public transport and to use the hotel or tour operator’s transport instead.
In the highlands, buses run between the towns of Lae, Goroka, Mount Hagen and Madang.
Traffic regulations: – Left-hand traffic. Speed limits: – urban: 60 km/h; – on rural roads: 75 km/h.
The national driving license is sufficient.
Note on travel by road
Warning: After dark, travelers should not walk outside of guarded facilities (e.g. hotels, restaurants) and should avoid overland journeys due to the poor road conditions. Places where obstacles (e.g. landslide, damaged bridge) force you to stop offer highwaymen the ideal opportunity for raids.
Traveling in the city
Buses and taxis operate in Port Moresby, but are not recommended for safety reasons (see also the Taxi section).
Traveling by ship
Cruises and excursions are available to both other coastal locations and the islands. In some parts of the country, the rivers are the main traffic arteries for the local population. In these areas you can rent small motor boats or book passages on cargo ships. Cruises are mainly offered on the Sepik.